Manchester Phoenix want more festive cheer by keeping up winning run against Telford Tigers

By Ross McLean

There was no shortage of Christmas cheer in the Manchester Phoenix camp thanks to back-to-back wins from a festive weekend on the road.

ThePhoenixprevailed in two close encounters by edging out Slough Jets on Saturday evening before seeing off Peterborough Phantoms on Sunday with a penalty shot victory.

Home comforts are now top of the billing with Telford Tigers arriving in town for tonight’s showdown at the Altrincham Ice Dome.

Sunday’s winning penalty scorer was new recruit from Cardiff Blues Bari McKenzie, and the 26-year-old forward – out injured for five weeks – is relishing his time with the Phoenix.

“So far everything has been absolutely great,” he said.

“Tony has been good and I have seen the physio and got the all clear.

“It is not great coming to a new team when you have been out injured but that’s life. I’m just happy to be here.

“I could have come in the summer and I spoke to Tony but I choseCardiffbut when I heard he wanted me to come back up, there wasn’t much of a decision to make.

“I felt it was the right move at the time for my career.”

The Tigers are enduring a miserable season and find themselves cut adrift at the foot of the English Premier League with only nine points from 25 games.

After a brief rocky spell, thePhoenixare handily placed in the league, five points behind Basingstoke Bison at the division’s summit.

And with his new club riding high, McKenzie hopes to add to his silverware collection, having enjoyed a more than productive spell at Milton Keynes Lightning earlier in his career.

“I really enjoyed my time atMilton Keynes,” he added.

“I was there for three years and had three really good years there.

“The team we had at that time won more or less everything so it was a privilege and a pleasure to play there.

“But now I am aPhoenixplayer and I will be expecting the same from us.

“Being here is a great privilege, there is a good tradition of winning and I’m sure we’ll keep that going this year.”

Image courtesy of Edinburgh Caps, via YouTube, with thanks.

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